Picket of Scientology's DC Org - July 19, 1997

Here are some of the pictures that were taken by the ARSCC representatives:

Picket report by Rod Keller

The Founding Chapter of the ARSCC held a surprise picket at the Founding Org of Scientology on Sat. July 19th. Attendees were Arnie Lerma, Big Beard, Rod Keller, Wes Fager, Margaret, Eric and another friend of Arnie's. We were dropped off about 4:30 right out front by the big green ARSCC bus. The one with "Can we enturbulate you today?" on the side. We were noticed soon after and Sylvia Stanard came out to greet us. They hastily arranged some really bad handouts - a little leaflet for the Orientation film, a half size New Slant on Life leaflet, and a fold-out blue-green poster talking about the Road to Total Freedom. They eventually typed up a DA page on Arnie, which they called "the other side of the story". It's unclear how they thought the stuff about copyright violations is the other side of the story for Lisa McPherson and Odhran Fortune. They never came out with counter-pickets.

We had two flyers, one with lots of the best quotes from all the judges around the world. The other had "Release Odhran Fortune" on one side, with the story and the picture of his mom and brother holding up signs "Free My Son" and "Free My Brother". The other side had "Scientology Killed Lisa McPherson", the basic story of how she died, a photo of her from Jeff's page, and a shot of her hand from the autopsy.

We had a photographer from OSA Invest. come out. He was known at the first Clearwater picket as "Sam Clemens". I asked him his name, and he told me "Peter Hacker". Arnie later told me that wasn't his name, so I asked him again. He refused to confirm or deny that his name was actually Peter Hacker. He smoked cigars most of the day.

Sue Taylor came out after a while, but not to see us. She was heading down the street on an errand. I said "Hi, Sue". She gave me this really intense look and said "I don't know you". Well, of course Sue knows me. I picketed the org two years ago, and she came down to see us at Clearwater I. I had breakfast with her at the HoJo's. Unlike those events, she didn't seem to be in charge of the DC folks. I guess the rumors that she's been busted and/or RPF'd are true. Sylvia is now in charge, at least for OSA. The staff seemed uneasy when I asked them why Sue pretended not to know me. I'll be interested to see when she's offloaded.

Big Beard didn't hang on to any handlers for very long. He'd start telling them about the FSO documents that describe Lisa's treatment at the FH, and they'd have to leave. It's difficult to call FSO documents lies.

They had a bunch of young women handing out leaflets, one of whom was Sylvia's daughter Gwen. They just had the generic leaflets, not the DA page. That they reserved for Alex, an OSA PR, who only handed it out to people who took one of our flyers. Alex tried to engage me in conversation, but he never got very far. "Look, you're not one of those copyright violators. Why are you doing this? You're one of the good guys". I replied "Yes, and you're the bad guys". He was too easy.

My sign had "Scientology is a Scam" on one side and "Release Odhran Fortune!" on the other. They all claimed they'd never heard of Odhran before, nor the 1500 protesters in Ireland. Sylvia claimed never to have heard of him before, despite also claiming to read a.r.s and my Week in Review. One of those is a lie. So Sylvia - if you're reading this, I hope your daughter never grows up to be like you.

One OSA came out of the org, and tried to get me to say something incriminating. I guess he had a microphone. He told me he'd like to firebomb the place. I asked "Didn't you just come out of there?" He told me he had gone in to make trouble, but had chickened out. I disagreed, that I'd never advocate firebombing anything. He then went around coordinating the young women distributing leaflets.

It was an Open House weekend in DC, with the Jive Aces performing. We didn't even know about it, but our protest didn't overlap with their performance. They discussed bringing out a boom box to blast us with Jive Aces music, but decided against it. We were pretty spread out across the front and side of the building, so it would have had to have been pretty loud to have an effect.

We had a post-picket relaxation time to rehydrate at an open air seating area across the street from the org. They parked themselves at the entrance, and we heard them coordinating leaflet girls for a couple blocks around, so they could track us when we split up. I think it's a shame to use children on Invest. ops like that. We took the Metro out of there, and were followed to the station by "Peter Hacker".

That's about it. DC area folks who would be interested in joining if we decide to do this again can contact your ARSCC project handler, and we'll get it together.

Picket report by "BigBeard"

From: lnieman@NOSPAM.ix.netcom.com (BigBeard)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Picket Report (My 1st!) - 07/19/97 - DC Org
Date: Sun, 20 Jul 1997 23:33:37 GMT
Lines: 234
Message-ID: <33d29e82.17620943@nntp.ix.netcom.com>

Sorry if this is a little long. My first picket and I'm still
a bit hyper (even after the drive back)!


Grabbed a couple of McMuffins & coffee and hit the road around
08:30.  After a most pleasant drive through the country, I met
Arnie, Rod, and some of Xenu's other friends around 13:45.
(I'm terrible with names, Rod may have some of the other SPs
noted in his report.)  After a brief flurry of sign making we
jumped in the blue ARSCC limo and hit the Org just before 'Libs'.

Side note: There was a lot of interest in our signs during the
ride to the Org. Seems the Cof$'s rep isn't all that great in
the area.

When we first arrived there was a pretty young lady in uniform
standing on the stoop at the main entrance of the building. I
started thinking, "Well, at least their door-person's uniform
isn't as ostentatious as some places in DC. Just one simple
lanyard, and no braid on the sleaves. She's kind of cute too."

Just as I was starting to fall in lust^H^H^Hove it hit me.
"Uniform? Lanyard? Sea Ogre?!? Nah, she couldn't be. Way to
pretty."  So I asked Arnie about it, and he confirmed, sure
enough, she was Sea Org. Bummer.

[Note for OSA: Don't bother siccing her on me next time, (and
yes there will be a next time - but when?) as I noticed later
she definately has a boyfriend. Double bummer. And I'm not into
breaking up relationships.]

We all started hitting our personal walking strides and got
spread out a bit.  About that time a shutter bug came out
and started taking our pictures.  Didn't get his name, but I'll
call him 'The Cigar' because he smelled like a cheap one, even
when he wasn't smoking one.  Believing in equal opportunity, I
took one of him.  Arnie came by, and I asked 'Cigar' to get one
of us together and he obliged.  Later I asked him when I could
stop by for copies of the prints, but he just scowled.

A few minutes later the pretty door-person disappeared and a
frizzy haired lady without a uniform came out and started talking
with the other picketers.  I asked Rod who she was, and if I'm
remembering right I believe he said her name was Sylvia. Not sure
what she was, but I was getting disappointed at being ignored, even
though I was obviously a new face on the street.

About 10 minutes later a 'civilian' (almost said member of the
'public', but 'public' has another meaning here on a.r.s.) asked
me, "Who's Lisa McPherson, and what'd they do to her?" as he pointed
to signs referencing her case.  So I explained it to him. Also told
him about the FSO logs, and the way Cof$ members will say $cientology
is compatible with Christianity but their IRS paperwork for tax
exempt status says differently. Suggested he stop by IRS on a lunch
break some time and check it out himself.  Said he just might.

Seeing me talking with a 'civilian' finally got 'The Cigars' notice.
He came over and started asking me why I was doing the picket. I told
him it was because, "Their scumbag lawyers had proveably lied to my
ISP trying to get my account pulled. And I didn't like what the Cof$
did to Lisa McPhearson."

He started talking about the autopsy reports, and how there was a
contradictory opinion. I just said, "Okay, fine. The autopsy reports
cancle out." "But what about the FSO logs that show Lisa was under
under fed, got little fluid, was given controlled drugs by people
without a license, and almost not fed when her money ran out?"
I pointed out these were Flag documents, produced by Flag lawyers
in the Florida court case.  And I didn't think Flag would make
themselves look so bad on purpose.

He said he didn't know anything about that. I suggested he contact
Flag for a copy of the logs and find out for himself.  He just went
away after that and kept going back and forth with Rod for a while.


'Frizzy Hair' (Sylvia?) came over then. She had the same questions,
and got almost the same answers.  Just like 'The Cigar', she "Didn't
know anything about that", in reference to the FSO logs on Lisa.
Gave her the same suggestion I'd give 'The Cigar' about getting a
copy of the logs from Flag and finding out.

She went away too. I was beginning to wonder if the beard was turning
them off.

A couple of young ladies came out and were hanging in front of the
building making comments for a while. They tried bringing up the
conflicting autopsy reports too. One of them mentioned she had been
to flag for 3 months, so I asked if she knew who supplied them with
the unlicensed controlled drugs they used on Lisa. Got a blank
stare, so I explained it to her. Told her to look in the FSO logs if
she didn't believe me. They went away.

Another guy came out and started giving out a DA sheet on Arnie, and
a skinny lady photog slipped across to the opposite corner and was
snapping pics as we turned and walked towards her.  The 'DA' came
over after a bit and started the, "What'd we ever do to you?" game
again. So I told him.

Then he started making comments about how I was spreading lies on the
handouts, and that making fun of $cientologies beliefs made me like
the KKK going after black churches.  I pointed out that a) I wasn't
handing out any leaflets (which I wasn't), and that b) I have stated
many times on the InterNet that $cientologist can believe what they
wanted, it was the organizations actions I was against.

Then I asked if he had read the FSO logs yet?  Response, "I don't know
anything about that. And wouldn't believe anything you guys posted on
the net anyway."  I said, "No problem. Write the Clerk of the Court
down there and ask for a copy. It's a public court document now."

Strange thing happened.  He went away.

He started talking with Rod, so I suggested Rod give him the address
of the Clerk of the Court, if he had it. And if he didn't, I suggested
'DA' just contact Flag for a copy. If you can't believe Flag, who can
you believe right?

Some time later the first 'civilian' I had talked with came by walking
in the opposite direction.  He got into a discussion with the 'DA'
guy. On one pass I heard the 'DA' telling the guy about what great
abilities $cientology could give an individual.  So in passing I asked
'DA', "If $cientology makes you so able at the upper levels, why don't
you have someone just 'intention' us picketers away?"

 And I suggested to the 'civilian' he ask for an explanation of
'intention beams' if he didn't understand what I had just suggested.
And that if he got one, he should figure out for himself just who had
the most 'knarly powers', since we were still picketing.

I noticed the 'Skinny' photog on the corner had a bad habit. She held
her finger about 1/4" above the shutter release button. So there was
just an instant of noticable motion before her picture would click.
So I turned on my camera flash as I approached the corner. Then, just
as she would mash the button on her $1,500 Nikon, I flashed her with
my $13.95 disposable Kodak.  I could tell she was really getting
annoyed about the 5th time I did it. Must be rough getting flashed
through the view finder.  So much for being 'at cause over MEST'.

A bit before 18:00 a guy with a cell phone showed up on the stoop. He
started directing a bunch of youngsters (14-24?) with leaflets to get
spread out in a four block radius and start passing out Cof$'s info.
He then got on the phone, and in a rather harried voice told someone,
"I've sent out what we've got and I'm trying to round up more bodies."
He did not sound very happy. Musta been a 'down stat' kind of day.

We must have messed up 'Liberty', or whatever they call it, for the
youngsters. Because I overheard one of them comment to another,
"Why'd these jerks pick now of all times to come picket?"  Or they
thought we were going to stay all the way through the 'Jive Aces'
concert so they'd end up missing it.  But us SPs aren't as nasty
as the OSA, so we didn't do that to them.

[Note for OSA: Random pickets have been talked about on a.r.s. for
months now.  And the Foundation Org wasn't even close to ready for one
on a "Jive Aces Open House Weekend" at Liberty time??  Tsk, tsk, tsk.
Someone's "Ethics" hanging out?  Or was it just our knarly SP powers
that let us know about that, hhmmmm? What's that? Oh, you know who the
insider is? Riiiiight.]

As they were dispearsing into the distance, a "Real Official Looking"
dude, wearing sick looking lime green suit, came out. He sat on the
top step with a pad, apparently writing down known names and what
each sign said. I stopped walking for a second to make it easier for
him, and gave him both sides of mine: "$scientology: So much control,
So little caring" and "$cientology is a Scam".

By this time most everyone had adjourned across the street for a
break and water, so I headed that way too. After a bit of water,
and mutual debriefs, we decided to call it a day.  As we were
leaving we discovered our awesome SP powers were still at work.
They apparently hadn't noticed us at the cafe and thought we were
gone. They let the some of the crew that had been holed up inside,
to protect them from the "nasty SPs" or course, out for their 'Lib'.

So the whole crowd, including what appeared to be a bunch of "public"
there for the 'Jive Aces', got an upclose look at what some folks
think of $cientology as we were leaving. We then headed for the Metro,
with at least one 'follower' in tow.  We invented a neat way to shake
a tail sort of by accident. (Full briefing at the next arscc(wde)

Over all, I'd say it was a very successful picket. Lots of flyers
given out, and lots of public support. Three gentleman from a local
AME church even came by, and when a $cieno tried DAing us to them,
they turned around and spent a considerable amount of time trying
to convert the $cieno "from his sinful ways".  The one consistent
thing I noticed is that whenever the FSO logs were brought up, and
the contents explained to them, they would get a 'dead' look in
their eyes and then they would go away.  I think underneath all the
bluster and hubbub they are beginning to understand they've been
lied to by their own people about Lisa.  And if it turns out we
were right about Lisa, what else might us SPs be right about?
They are beginning to doubt, and with doubt comes questioning,
and with questioning....?

Picket Report Addendum

That would have been it, except for a bizarre happening the next
morning.  I left Arnie & crew to go visit some friends I have in
the area.  I stayed over night, and in the morning we went down to
a certain breakfast place I enjoy.  The coffee lady came by, did her
thing, and said our wait-person would be with us shortly. So, while
we were waiting, I pulled out some flyers Arnie had given me to show
my friend.   

I was in the middle of going over the Lisa McPherson side of one
flyer when our wait-person showed up. Talk about major enturbulation!
It was one of the Org youngsters that had been sent out to the hither
street corners with their flyers the day before. Gotta pay for them
courses somehow I guess.

The recognition was mutual, and almost instant.  I thought there was
going to be a person shaped hole in the wall for a second, but after a
deep breathe and a double take, it was just, "Are you ready to order?"

Things were slow, and the individual hasn't been involved very long,
so eventually I was able to get a dialog going.  To make a long story
short, I suggested that if this individual wasn't going to take our
side at face value, not to just take their word for things either. And
to check things out him/her (not saying which) self.

 Pointed out all of the justices sayings, how many countries were
involved, and asked if he/she really thought that many different
jurist would be biased against Cof$?  The flyers went into an apron
pocket, not the trash bucket.  Hail Xenu!

0111 1110
Katana ko chi & SPsoo(p)

Picket report by Margareth

From: margareth1@aol.com (MARGARETH1)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Re: DC Picket Report - 7/19/97
Date: 21 Jul 1997 06:52:53 GMT
Message-ID: <19970721065201.CAA23940@ladder02.news.aol.com>
References: <33d57f7c.7640180@snews.zippo.com>

Ted Mayett wrote:

>Margaret I absolutely loved your sign!

I did too, though I was not the one who made it. (For those who haven't

I think it may have been the most effective sign in the picket for hitting
the scns where it hurts (in the pocketbook, of course).  Dupont Circle,
where the org is located, has an extremely large and affluent gay
population.  Many gay couples walked by, and I made sure they got a good
look at my sign.  One man said "Thanks for doing this.  I had no idea
Scientology was homophobic."

Another stopped and was looking rather intently at my sign, and I said,
"They'll cure you, if you pay them enough."  He said, "Oh, lovely..."

The OSA guy with a (yukkh!) cigar, taking pictures, kept saying "It's a
lie!  That sign is a lie!".

(BTW, does anyone know why those picture-taking OSA guys always wear 
Hawaiian shirts?  This guy's shirt had fish on it.)

In some ways it was a much more satisfying picket than the Clearwater one,
where my sign was totally blocked much of the time, and where there was
also not as much foot traffic.  In the DC one I positioned myself much of
the time so that the people who received the scieno handouts (big-eye
space alien type on the cover) would then look up and see my sign.  

If the marks were apparently heterosexual, I would often use the other
side of my sign, which said, "SCIENTOLOGY=DEATH (LISA MACPHERSON) ARE YOU
A couple of women asked me about this, and listened with interest to the

I liked the diversity of the signs in the picket (I agree, a $360,000 one
would have been good).

Hmm...I just had an Idea for a picket sign: "THE $360,000 QUESTION: "WHO

It was fun riding down on the subway with our signs--they garnered a lot
of interested looks and some questions and conversation.

Well, that's 'bout it.

Margaret H.

Go back to the picket page.